Watford City Dog Bite Injury Attorneys
Get Compensation for your Dog Bites Injury in Watford City, McKenzie County, and across North Dakota
Whether it’s a dog you’ve known for years or one you’ve just met, at the end of the day, man’s best friend is still an animal, that it’s root, is a predator. As such, they are capable 0f being aggressive, defensive, territorial, and biting with extreme force. They do it for a variety of reasons, sometimes because they are threatened, poorly trained, not secured, sick, or are genetically predisposed to aggression.
A dog attack becomes a legal matter when a dog bites a person without proper precautions being taken by the owner to prevent it, especially if they know the dog is prone to biting. Dogs are animals that humans have decided to keep as pets. At the end of the day, they are not responsible for their actions; humans are. And thus, humans are the ones who must answer for their dogs actions.
At Sand Law, our experienced dog bite injury attorneys can help you sort out the legal matters surrounding the case, and may be able to help you recover monetary compensation for injuries that may have been inflicted by the bite.
Why Do Dogs Bite?
Dogs are, by their nature, animals, and even the nicest most well-behaved pet can lash out and bite under certain circumstances. The American Veterinary Medical Association has outlined a variety of reasons why dogs may bite. Oftentimes, it is in response to external factors.
For example, dogs often bite when they feel frightened or stressed, or if they want to be left alone. Some dogs, especially when they’re young puppies, may also use their teeth during playtime. But very rarely is it unprovoked – growling and aggressive body language are a dog’s first signals that it is uncomfortable.
As such, it is your responsibility to be mindful of what a dog is doing, especially if it begins to show signs of being uncomfortable that may result in it resorting to biting as a way of telling you to back off. Failing to do so, or actively provoking the dog into biting you, makes you at fault for the incident and means you cannot seek any damages as a result.
Dog Bites and Owner Negligence
North Dakota is one of a handful of states that do not have a statute specifically about dog bites on the books. Most of the time, if a dog bites a person without provocation or warning, it is handled as a personal injury case with a statute of limitations of six years.
Previous court rulings in the state have determined that standard North Dakota negligence laws apply to scenarios in which dog bites occur. In order to win damages from a dog owner in the event of an unprovoked bite, your legal team must prove that:
- The owner had a duty to prevent the dog from causing injury, ie. keeping the dog on a leash in a public space like a dog park, or keeping it separated from people it is unfamiliar with in a home setting
- The owner failed in that duty, ie. letting the dog run unsupervised in a public space
- The owner’s breach caused the specific injuries, ie. the owner not having the dog on a leash in a public space allowed the dog to get close to the injured person and bite them
An important caveat to keep in mind is that some dog bite injury cases can be affected by limited liability for trespasser injuries. This means that in the event that the dog bite happened on private property that the injured party did not have permission to be on, the injured party will not be able to recover compensation. Bear in mind, however, this applies only to private property, not public property such as sidewalks.
Treating Dog Bites
Before contemplating legal action, it is important to assess and treat the damage from the bite itself. Even a bite from a smaller dog can become a huge problem if it gets infected. Due to the amount of bacteria in a dog’s mouth, the chance is high. There are steps you can take to treat the wound and minimize the risk.
- Press on the wound gently to coax blood out. Letting the wound bleed helps flush out some of the bacteria that could otherwise linger in the raw wound.
- Wash the wound with soap and water. Antibacterial soap with no scent is best for this.
- Press a clean cloth or dressing to the wound. Gentle pressure will slow down the bleeding.
- If you have it, apply an over-the-counter antiseptic cream such as Neosporin. Most first aid kits come with it, or an equivalent product.
- Wrap the wound in a sterile bandage. Gauze works best for this. Afterwards, go to an urgent care clinic or your primary doctor to have the wound examined.
- Change the bandage often, at least several times a day. This will keep the wound from festering.
- Watch the wound carefully for signs of infection. Such signs are things like redness, the wound swelling, or fluid leaking from it that isn’t blood.
A doctor visit is essential after you’ve been bitten. Dogs can carry a variety of incredibly harmful diseases, including rabies, MRSA, and tetanus. These types of bacteria require antibiotics to combat.
Seeking Damages for a Dog Attack
If not treated properly, dog bites can lead to serious infections that can cost you much in the way of medical bills, especially for treatment of intensive infections. In the worst case scenario, they may be responsible for you losing part or all of a limb. In such cases, if the dog bite was unprovoked and the owner did not do anything to prevent it, you have a right to seek damages from the pet owner.
Damages from a dog attack often include: medical bills, surgery costs, time off work, lost earning potential, time spent traveling and visiting doctors, plus pain and suffering.
Common Injuries Caused by Dog Attacks
Dog bites can cause all different types of injuries, each of which can be painful, debilitating, costly, and emotionally damaging. Some common injuries from a dog attack, include:
- Lacerations – serious cuts and scrapes
- Punctures – deep, direct cuts caused by dog’s teeth
- Infection – commonly caused by bacteria in dog’s mouth
- Rabies – a dangerous and contagious viral infection transmitted by dog bites
- Tetanus – a serious viral infection that affects the muscles
- Crushing Injuries – caused by pressure applied when the dog’s jaw bites down and damages bones, muscles, and nerves
- Avulsion – a tearing injury, including the possible removal of a body part
- Scarring – often emotionally damaging and lasting, scars are a serious injury
- Nerve Damage – dog bites can cause damage to muscle and nerves that may cause temporary or permanent paralysis
- Brain Injury – often caused by falling during the attack, but may be caused by the attack itself
- Death from Dog Attacks – although more rare than the situations above, when dog attacks do result in death, it is a devastating blow to families: emotionally and financially
Experienced Dog Bite Attorneys in Watford City, North Dakota
When it comes to injuries resulting from an unprovoked dog bite anywhere in Watford City or McKensie county, you need an experienced team to advocate for you. You deserve compensation for the harm you’ve suffered, and our team is the best to help you get it. Contact our experienced dog bite lawyers at (701) 609-1510, or fill out our online contact form today.